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How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson? (Read 1640 times)

Offline sweetpotato

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For the parent who wants their child to learn piano more at a recreational level, assuming two different teachers are both good with children, how can a parent figure out who will teach music better to their child?

Offline pencilart3

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #1 on: March 05, 2019, 04:35:11 AM »
Find out what they've done, who they've taught, how much experience they have. Listen to them play if at all possible. Talk to other students and see what kind of experience they had. Most teachers will have a sort of focus or philosophy. Probably wouldn't hurt to ask about that. Is the teacher super big on improvisation? On performance? Composition? Technique? Etc...

And know what you want, otherwise you'll never find it.
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Offline dinulip

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 05:29:45 PM »
I just hate those trial lessons and, personally, I do not offer them.  I'd say that it takes two semesters to judge the value of a teacher.  If you satisfied with what you 'hear' after a full year of piano lessons and if your child is happy to play, then the teacher is good for your child.  But there is no way you can tell what a teacher can do for your child just after a few lessons. 

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 05:54:33 PM »
Accomplishments and achievements doesn’t really determine how good s teacher is.  The only thing that reallly matters is teaching philosophy.

But still you’re not going to get much out of just a trial lesson so no matter what your criteria is you’re still gonna be taking a leap of faith
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Offline sucom

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 02:20:18 PM »
I think the very best way to determine if a teacher is the right one is first to ensure the child enjoyed the very first lesson and that there is some rapport and understanding between the student and child.

The next thing to check, after a month or two, is if the child is practising.  If you can see practice occurring and the child is happy to discuss his or her progress or what took place in the lesson, this would be a good sign.

However, more important than either of these is:  How is the child progressing after a year?  Can you see a difference in the playing?  Is the child enthusiastic about his progress?  Are you proud of what your child has achieved? If so, stick with the teacher.

Not all students are perfect for all teachers and not all teachers are perfect for all students, no matter what their qualifications.  It really is a bit of a hit and miss affair to begin with, although finding a teacher through recommendation is probably the best route.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #5 on: April 04, 2019, 10:44:59 AM »
Accomplishments and achievements doesn’t really determine how good s teacher is. 

Yeah, but you can't rely on your childs enjoyment either. I've had MANY transfer students who loved their last teacher - they were probably funny, nice etc... but they completely hampered their ability to progress steadily, making the student do an obscene amount of work that barely extends their skills.

I've known students who have been playing for years and can barely read the notes... but they enjoyed being taught by their last teacher.

Offline compline

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #6 on: April 04, 2019, 11:24:37 AM »
Yeah, but you can't rely on your childs enjoyment either. I've had MANY transfer students who loved their last teacher - they were probably funny, nice etc... but they completely hampered their ability to progress steadily, making the student do an obscene amount of work that barely extends their skills.

I've known students who have been playing for years and can barely read the notes... but they enjoyed being taught by their last teacher.



I think if the child is very young the lessons should be made  fun, I'm sure there are skilled tutors who know how to keep the Childs attention by making it fun, also the length   of the lessons is probably only about  30 to 45 minutes to start with, depending on attention span.   If the child is happy and actually making some progress, then that may suit for a time, but as the child gets older then the parents should perhaps  think of  furthering his progression by seeking  a new tutor, if they indeed feel the need.
Also bear in mind that parents might have to keep to a budget.   

Offline sucom

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 06:29:41 AM »
Perfect_pitch said:

Yeah, but you can't rely on your childs enjoyment either. I've had MANY transfer students who loved their last teacher - they were probably funny, nice etc... but they completely hampered their ability to progress steadily, making the student do an obscene amount of work that barely extends their skills.

I've known students who have been playing for years and can barely read the notes... but they enjoyed being taught by their last teacher.


I can't stress enough how much I identify with these words as it has been my own experience too. 

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 08:28:42 AM »
I can't stress enough how much I identify with these words as it has been my own experience too. 

It's sad... isn't it? It's kind of dis-heartening as you feel they were robbed of their musical education to a large extent.

I had a long line of idiot teachers who were nice and smiled and made me feel like I was doing everything right (bar two teachers, one of whom I only had for a year and a half and the other I'm currently with), and although I'm mad as hell knowing that I was stifled as a pianist... but in my efforts to rise above that - it's made me a great teacher.

I made all the mistakes, but I know how to fix them now... and I do with my students.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 09:39:35 AM »
What kind of teacher does the student require? It may be an important requirement that the teacher helps the student find enjoyment and fun in music, this may be especially important to a young student being introduced to learning a musical instrument. This "fun" factor might not play such an imporant role for someone who wants to develop their skills more seriously. This is not to say that lessons that are fun and enjoyable are not serious in fact I would want a teacher who can make it enjoyable and teach well, I don't want a teacher who makes me feel exhausted and dread lessons, I want one who can inspire me and encourage me to learn and be creative and to me that would require that the lessons are enjoyable, exciting, something to look foward to.

Nevertheless I feel that one cannot find out everything from the first lesson, it takes the student and teacher several lessons to get to know one another and understand how they work and if it works. Here is a list if you need one:

https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=30543.msg353574#msg353574

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Offline dogperson

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 01:02:10 PM »
LIW
As an adult returning student, I found that not being able to judge ‘fit’ in one lesson applied to me as well.   During the first lesson, I was able to assess that my new teacher had the skills to teach me, but ‘ fit’ I was not able to assess for several months.   If I would’ve made the decision based on the first lesson, I would looked for another teacher, but I didn’t quit. After about two months, I realized how lucky I was and it was indeed a perfect fit 

As with any new relationship, it takes time.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #11 on: April 06, 2019, 02:31:57 AM »
Yes that’s it, a relationship takes time to work out. Sometimes you can tell fast that it doesn’t work, for example if a student is excessively shy and closed up (something you can find with very young children who have not developed any socialising skills) or perhaps the teacher makes you feel more confused and insecure after the lesson, but more often than not with “normal” lessons it should take at least a term for it to become clear.

When teaching the arts there really is no right and wrong method, there are many paths to get results. I am always wary of those teachers who think they have the only truth or the best way they are the type who are unwilling to adapt and work with the individual student and teach with quite regimented and “cookie cutter” tools this which I have found stifles creativity and intrinsic understandings. Some students or parents I have come across demand a certain path be taken where I judge it would not be efficient, if they are unwilling to come to a compromise then they need to search for another teacher.
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Offline Bob

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Re: How can a parent gauge who is a good teacher from a trial lesson?
«Reply #12 on: May 25, 2019, 11:24:01 PM »
It's more long term.  Yes, at least a semester, for real progress, if you know what you're looking at/looking for.  Look at what students are being cranked out.  And be aware of what position the teacher is in.  There's a difference between someone teaching beginners vs. a college professor.  The teachers needs/goals will factor in too, like earning money through teaching vs. securing their position be recruiting already good students or students who can teach themselves/learn on their own.

More basically, for traditional lessons... Does the kid enjoy it?  Are they making progress/Are they playing harder pieces?  Is there always new?  Are they stagnating?  Are they practicing?  Do they want to practice?  The teacher will influence all that, but I wouldn't place 100% on the teacher.  What the teacher has in mind for the lesson might not quite match the student.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."